A BENDIGO school has introduced something new this year to foster an inclusive, supportive learning environment.
Girton Grammar School has developed a charter with the input of 870 staff members and students that outlines the importance of emotional intelligence to the school community and the behaviours everyone should aspire to uphold.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise and manage one’s own emotions, and understand the emotions of others.
Girton’s head of emotional intelligence programs Paul Flanagan said it was important to learning.
“Our key mantra is that you get to the head through the heart,” Mr Flanagan said.
He said the aim was to develop in children empathy, an understanding of who they were, and the ability to manage their emotions.
The charter builds on Girton’s RULER approach to integrating social and emotional learning.
The approach was developed by Yale University’s Professor Marc Brackett and Girton was the first school in Australia to take it on board when it adopted it six years ago.
Students have also been presented with badges of the charter’s five core values – respect, inclusion, confidence, trust and excellence – to serve as reminders and talking points.
Professor Brackett has congratulated the school on its charter, which it believes is unique in content and style.